Electric carmaker Aptera raises $24 million round

Aptera Motors aims to use the funds to produce a line of all-electric three wheelers by December.

Correction: A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.

(Credit: Aptera)

Aptera Motors, the electric car start-up that on Tuesday nabbed funding from Google.org, announced Thursday that it has secured $24 million in a series C round.

The Carlsbad, Calif., company aims to spend the funds on its manufacturing center in nearby Vista.

Aptera has set the end of this year for the release of its all-electric Typ-1, a two-seater, three-wheeled electric car whose streamlined shape might look at home in a Jetsons cartoon. Each street-legal vehicle would cost less than $30,000.

The electric version of the three-wheeler would drive 120 miles per charge, while a hybrid version due for release near the end of 2009 is meant to achieve 300 miles per gallon .

"The Aptera Typ-1 is designed to be the lowest-energy way to transport two passengers safely from point A to point B," Bill Gross, chairman and CEO of start-up incubator Idealab, which backs Aptera, said in a statement.

Google's philanthropic arm on Wednesday shared that it will split $2.75 million toward its RechargeIt initiative between Aptera and battery start-up ActaCell. Other investors in Aptera include Esenjay Investments, the Simons Family, and the Beall Family Trust.

The company said it has received 3,300 deposits of a minimum $500 each from potential customers in California.

Correction: When published, this story gave the wrong day for the Aptera-Google.org announcement. That round of funding was announced Tuesday.

 

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